Last-gasp winner lifts Malaga out of the relegation zone

Adrián celebrates scoring the winning goal on Sunday night.
Adrián celebrates scoring the winning goal on Sunday night. / Ñito Salas
  • Goals from Sadiku and Adrián helped overturn Numancia's first-half lead at La Rosaleda on Sunday night

A late goal from Malaga captain Adrián helped seal a memorable 2-1 win against Numancia on Sunday night, lifting his side out of the relegation zone.

Despite being much the better team on the day, Malaga made hard work of it at La Rosaleda. The visitors took an early lead against the run of play when Alberto Escassi headed home Álvaro Aguado's free-kick clipped in from the left with just 16 minutes on the clock.

Antoñín, making his first home start since signing a professional deal, was warmly received by the home faithful. In response, the 19-year-old showed flashes of brilliance with his close control mesmerising defenders; however, as can be expected at his stage of development, his end product was found wanting in a half low on action.

Álvaro Aguado's set-piece expertise continued to cause Malaga problems after the restart. His free-kick, from an almost identical position from where he set up Numancia's opener, almost caught out Munir again. Fortunately for the Moroccan keeper, the ball came back out off the upright.

The hosts were gifted a route back into the game minutes later when Juankar was upended by substitute Moha, fresh off the bench. Leading scorer Armando Sadiku stepped up and tucked his penalty low into the side netting after sending keeper Dani Barrio the wrong way.

Barrio was to be kept a busy man for the remaining 35 minutes. He pulled off a superb save to deny debutant Tete Morente a tap-in at the far post, minutes after he came off the bench to replace Hicham.

Antoñín also came close with a curling shot as he cut in on his right foot. The ball wouldn't dip fast enough and it landed on the roof of the net.

Better chances fell to Sadiku, on his head and left foot, and it seemed like it wasn't to be Malaga's night.

However, fortune was on their side as the 90-minute mark approached when a lucky richochet off Escassi left Adrián unmarked inside the six-yard box to swivel and fire in the winner past the helpless keeper.

"Today the players deserve to enjoy themselves because we all saw a bold and courageous team in the second half," said Malaga's interim coach Pellicer, visibly satisfied with his team's performance. "We must now think about going for victory in Cadiz."

Malaga face a trip to the league leaders next Sunday, with a two-point lead over 19th-placed Albacete.